I thought about it for a while and decided that my chances will be far better if I wrote an essay along the following lines:
1. The income gap is cause primarily by globalisation.
2. The PAP has done every thing it can to close the gap.
3. The import of hundreds of thousands of foreign workers does not suppress wages of low income (just found out that the coffeeshop downstairs has fired its 50 yr old coffeeshop helper has been fired and a young china guy [efficient, courteous, energetic] has replaced him. I guess the helper is now freed up for retraining and get a higher paying job later).
4. GST helps the poor and the entire regressive tax regime of recent years is meant to help the poor.
5. Given that income gap has ballooned, the blame can be put squarely on the low income workers couldn;t get themselves upgraded in time for the numerous jobs the PAP created...so the PAP has no choice but to bring in even more foreign workers to fill those jobs.
I think I stand a good chance of winning...what do you think?
While looking for material, I found this speech by Paul Krugman on the creation and destruction of the middleclass & income gap. Krugman suggests that the middleclass is created quickly by the minimum wage, formation of labor unions, progressive taxation on corporate profits, social security etc. It is now being destroyed by a reversal of those policies - the process started in the Regean years. Wonder why Krugman has never been invited to Singapore to speak about our economy.
There is one part of the speech that Krugman didn't get right - he said that the huge disparity in income distribution is unique to America. Oh come on Krugman, you never heard of Singapore? A place with the highest per capita growth in the number of US$ millionaires and rapid deterioration of wages the lowest income group. By all measures, we beat America flat .....